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Have Turkey's neo-Ottomans abandoned Yemen?

Turkish media ignores Yemen despite mounting civilian casualties, but hard-core Islamists and secular groups blame the neo-Ottoman government for being a pawn of Western and Saudi interests.
A view of a municipal board building after it was destroyed by Saudi-led air strikes in the northwestern city of Saada, Yemen, October 2, 2016. REUTERS/Naif Rahma     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTSQEFL

In the early 2000s when I started studying Yemen, no one in Turkey seemed to care about the country. Yet by 2010-11, Yemen was a hot topic. Neo-Ottomans loved Yemen, they sang songs about Yemen, they discovered the honey from Yemen, they established schools in Yemen.

One of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s senior advisers, Yasin Aktay, even found Kurdish Yemenis — who have oddly gone missing since his discovery — who were pro-Justice and Development Party (AKP). Hurriyet daily columnist Ertugrul Ozkok, along with others, joined in the cultural tours of Yemen guided by the Turkish ambassador at the time, investigated markets for the qat shrub and even wondered what kind of lingerie Yemeni women were wearing.

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